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Publication numberUS20040173349 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/483,278
PCT numberPCT/EP2002/007883
Publication dateSep 9, 2004
Filing dateJul 10, 2002
Priority dateJul 10, 2001
Also published asCA2453047A1, CN1309934C, CN1526049A, DE60210616D1, EP1404945A1, EP1404945B1, US7143825, WO2003006789A1
Publication number10483278, 483278, PCT/2002/7883, PCT/EP/2/007883, PCT/EP/2/07883, PCT/EP/2002/007883, PCT/EP/2002/07883, PCT/EP2/007883, PCT/EP2/07883, PCT/EP2002/007883, PCT/EP2002/07883, PCT/EP2002007883, PCT/EP200207883, PCT/EP2007883, PCT/EP207883, US 2004/0173349 A1, US 2004/173349 A1, US 20040173349 A1, US 20040173349A1, US 2004173349 A1, US 2004173349A1, US-A1-20040173349, US-A1-2004173349, US2004/0173349A1, US2004/173349A1, US20040173349 A1, US20040173349A1, US2004173349 A1, US2004173349A1
InventorsMichael Pointing
Original AssigneePointing Michael Edward
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Expandable wellbore stabiliser
US 20040173349 A1
Abstract
A stabiliser is disclosed for stabilising a radially expandable tubular element extending in a wellbore drilled into an earth formation. The stabiliser comprises a radially expandable tubular member selected from a section of the tubular element and a sleeve surrounding the tubular element, and at least one stabiliser arm connected to the tubular member, each arm being movable from a radially retracted position to a radially extended position by the action of a spring force. The stabiliser further comprises locking means arranged to lock each arm in the retracted position when the tubular element is in the unexpanded form and to unlock the arm upon radial expansion of the tubular member so as to allow the arm to move to the extended position thereof.
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Claims(11)
1. A stabiliser for a radially expandable tubular element extending in a wellbore drilled into an earth formation, the stabiliser comprising a radially expandable tubular member selected from a section of the tubular element and a sleeve surrounding the tubular element, and at least one stabiliser arm connected to the tubular member, each arm being movable from a radially retracted position to a radially extended position by the action of a spring force, the stabiliser further comprising locking means arranged to lock the arm in the retracted position when the tubular element is in the unexpanded form and to unlock the arm upon radial expansion of the tubular member so as to allow the arm to move to the extended position thereof.
2. The stabiliser of claim 1, wherein the arm is integrally connected to the tubular member and wherein the spring force stems from elastic deformation of the arm relative to the member element when the arm is in the retracted position thereof.
3. The stabiliser of claim 2, wherein the arm is defined by a cut-out portion of the tubular member.
4. The stabiliser of claim 3, wherein the arm, when in the retracted position thereof, extends in substantially circumferential direction of the tubular member.
5. The stabiliser of any one of claims 2-4, wherein the locking means includes a circumferential end surface of the arm, said end surface extending inclined relative to the circumferential direction of the tubular member.
6. The stabiliser of claim 5, wherein the locking means further includes a circumferential end surface of the tubular member, which end surface is inclined relative to the circumferential direction of the tubular member, the respective end surfaces of the arm and the tubular member having complementary inclinations.
7. The stabiliser of any one of claims 1-6, comprising a plurality of said arms including at least two said arms located at substantially the same circumferential position and at selected mutual axial spacing.
8. The stabiliser of any one of claims 1-7, comprising a plurality of said arms including at least three arms at selected mutual circumferential spacing.
9. The stabiliser of any one of claims 1-8, wherein the sleeve is an expandable slotted tubular member.
10. The stabiliser of any one of claims 1-9, wherein the tubular element is a casing extending into the wellbore.
11. The stabiliser substantially as described hereinbefore with reference to the drawings.
Description
  • [0001]
    The present invention relates to a stabiliser for stabilising a tubular element extending in a wellbore drilled into an earth formation. The tubular element is, for example, a casing, which is to be cemented in the wellbore. Generally it is desirable that the casing is positioned centrally in the wellbore before and during cementing in order to ensure that the annular cement layer between the casing and the wellbore wall provides sufficient isolation both in radial and longitudinal direction. In the specification hereinafter the terms “stabiliser” and “centraliser” are used, both referring to the same meaning.
  • [0002]
    Various types of centralisers have been applied to stabilise and centralise a tubular element, such as a casing, in a wellbore. One such centraliser is a bow centraliser, which is provided with spring-type arms extending against the wellbore wall. However, such known centralisers are less applicable for tubulars which are to be radially expanded in the wellbore.
  • [0003]
    It is therefore an object of the invention to provide an improved stabiliser, which adequately stabilises or centralises an expandable tubular element in a wellbore.
  • [0004]
    In accordance with the invention there is provided a stabiliser for a radially expandable tubular element extending in a wellbore drilled into an earth formation, the stabiliser comprising a radially expandable tubular member selected from a section of the tubular element and a sleeve surrounding the tubular element, and at least one stabiliser arm connected to the tubular member, each arm being movable from a radially retracted position to a radially extended position by the action of a spring force, the stabiliser further comprising locking means arranged to lock the arm in the retracted position when the tubular element is in the unexpanded form and to unlock the arm upon radial expansion of the tubular member so as to allow the arm to move to the extended position thereof.
  • [0005]
    It is thereby achieved that, upon radial expansion of the tubular member in the wellbore, the tubular member stretches in circumferential direction so that the locking means becomes unlocked and each arm is moved by the spring force to its radially extended position. The arms thereby become biased against the wellbore wall and stabilise/centralise the tubular element in the wellbore.
  • [0006]
    Suitably each arm is integrally connected to the tubular member, and the spring force stems from elastic deformation of the arm relative to the member element when the arm is in its retracted position.
  • [0007]
    To enable easy installation of the tubular element in the wellbore, it is preferred that the arm, when in the retracted position thereof, extends in substantially circumferential direction of the tubular member.
  • [0008]
    Preferably the stabiliser comprises a plurality of said arms including at least two said arms located at substantially the same circumferential position and at selected mutual axial spacing.
  • [0009]
    To achieve adequate centralising of the tubular element in the wellbore, suitably the stabiliser comprises a plurality of said arms including at least three arms at selected mutual circumferential spacing.
  • [0010]
    The invention will be described hereinafter in more detail and by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
  • [0011]
    [0011]FIG. 1 schematically is a perspective view of an expandable tubular element provided with an embodiment of a stabiliser according to the invention;
  • [0012]
    [0012]FIG. 2 schematically shows cross-section 2-2 of FIG. 1;
  • [0013]
    [0013]FIG. 3 schematically shows the tubular element of FIG. 1 after radial expansion thereof; and
  • [0014]
    [0014]FIG. 4 schematically shows view 4-4 of FIG. 3.
  • [0015]
    Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 there is shown a tubular element in the form of a casing 4, prior to radial expansion thereof, of a wellbore (not shown) formed in an earth formation. The casing 4 is provided with a stabiliser 6 for stabilising and/or centralising the casing 4 in the wellbore. The stabiliser 6 includes a radially expandable tubular member in the form of a sleeve 8 surrounding the casing 2. The sleeve 8 is provided with longitudinal slots 10 (only some of the slots are shown for ease of reference) which are overlapping in longitudinal direction so that only a low expansion force is required to radially expand the sleeve 8. Furthermore, the sleeve 8 is provided with three cut-out portions 12, 12′, 12″ regularly spaced along the circumference of the sleeve 8, whereby in FIG. 1 only one cut-portion 12 is shown for ease of reference. The two other cut-out portions 12′, 12″ are similar in shape and size to cut-out portion 12.
  • [0016]
    Cut-out portion 12 is formed of four rectangular cut-out sections 14, 15, 16, 17 which are interconnected by a longitudinal cut 18. The cut-out sections 14, 15, 16, 17 and longitudinal cut 18 define three rectangular arms 19, 20, 21 integrally connected to the remaining part of sleeve 8.
  • [0017]
    The longitudinal cut 18 extends inclined relative to the circumferential direction of the sleeve 8 thereby defining inclined circumferential end surfaces 24, 26, 28 of the respective arms 19, 20, 21 and complementary inclined circumferential end surface 30 of the remaining part of sleeve 8.
  • [0018]
    As shown in FIG. 2, the inclined end surfaces 24, 26, 28 of the arms 19, 20, 21 are locked behind the inclined end surface 30 of the remaining part of the sleeve 8, thereby retaining the arms 19, 20, 21 in a radially retracted position. Each arm 19, 20, 21 has been plastically deformed in a manner that the arm assumes a radially extended position (as shown in FIG. 3) when no longer radially retracted, and that the arm is subject to elastic deformation when radially retracted (as shown in FIG. 2).
  • [0019]
    Reference is further made to FIGS. 3 and 4 showing the casing 4 and stabiliser 6 after radial expansion of the casing 4 and sleeve 8. The inclined end surfaces 24, 26, 28 of the arms 19, 20, 21 are no longer locked behind the inclined end surface 30 of the remaining part of the sleeve 8, and as a result the arms 19, 20, 21 extend in their respective radially extended positions.
  • [0020]
    During normal operation the casing 4 is provided with the stabiliser 4 whereby the sleeve 8 is arranged around the casing 4 and the arms 19, 20, 21 are in their retracted positions. Subsequently the casing is lowered into the wellbore and radially expanded by, for example, pulling or pushing an expander through the casing 4. Cement slurry is pumped into the annular space between the wellbore wall and the casing 4 before or after expansion of the casing 4.
  • [0021]
    As the casing 4 radially expands, the sleeve 8 is also radially expanded. The slots 10 of the sleeve 8 thereby open up so that the force required to expand the sleeve is relatively low. The sleeve 8 stretches in circumferential direction as a result of its radial expansion, and thereby the inclined end surfaces 24, 26, 28 of the respective arms 19, 20, 21 become unlocked from the inclined end surface 30 of the remaining part of the casing 4. Each arm 19, 20, 21 springs radially outward against the wellbore wall upon unlocking of its inclined end surface 24, 26, 28 from end surface 30 due to release of the elastic deformation energy contained in the arm when the arm is radially restrained. The radial position of the arms 19, 20, 21 after unlocking is shown in FIG. 3.
  • [0022]
    The arms 19, 20, 21 are dimensioned such that the tips of the arms, after unlocking of the arms, become biased against the wellbore wall and thereby centralise and stabilise the casing 4 in the wellbore.
  • [0023]
    Instead of the sleeve being provided with longitudinal slots, the sleeve can be provided with a configuration of holes.
  • [0024]
    Furthermore, instead of cementing the casing in the wellbore, one or a number of alternative annular sealing means can be applied in the annular space between the casing and the wellbore wall.
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1997880 *Mar 25, 1932Apr 16, 1935Watry Louis TGuide coupling
US2035637 *May 7, 1934Mar 31, 1936Guiberson CorpFriction shoe
US20040182571 *Jul 5, 2002Sep 23, 2004Betts Michael JohnCentraliser for an expandable tubular element in a wellbore
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7096939 *Mar 11, 2003Aug 29, 2006Downhole Products PlcSlotted expandable centraliser
US7140431 *Jul 5, 2002Nov 28, 2006Shell Oil CompanyCentraliser for an expandable tubular element in a wellbore
US7159673 *Apr 26, 2002Jan 9, 2007Shell Oil CompanyDrilling system with expandable sleeve
US7624798 *Dec 1, 2009Baker Hughes IncorporatedCentralizer for expandable tubulars
US7832477Nov 16, 2010Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.Casing deformation and control for inclusion propagation
US7857063 *Jul 5, 2006Dec 28, 2010Thomas John Oliver ThorntonCentraliser
US7950456Jun 9, 2010May 31, 2011Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.Casing deformation and control for inclusion propagation
US8122953Feb 28, 2011Feb 28, 2012Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.Drainage of heavy oil reservoir via horizontal wellbore
US20040144568 *Apr 26, 2002Jul 29, 2004Van Dijk Robert AlbertusDrilling system with expandable sleeve
US20040182571 *Jul 5, 2002Sep 23, 2004Betts Michael JohnCentraliser for an expandable tubular element in a wellbore
US20050150654 *Mar 11, 2003Jul 14, 2005Kirk Ian A.Slotted expandable centraliser
US20060266516 *May 22, 2006Nov 30, 2006Presslie Mark WCentralizer for expandable tubulars
US20070007015 *Jul 5, 2006Jan 11, 2007Thomas John ThorntonCentraliser
US20090166040 *Dec 28, 2007Jul 2, 2009Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.Casing deformation and control for inclusion propagation
EP2428638A2 *May 8, 2008Mar 14, 2012Frank's International, Inc.Low-clearance centralizer and method of making centralizer
WO2009085903A1 *Dec 18, 2008Jul 9, 2009Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.Casing deformation and control for inclusion propagation
Classifications
U.S. Classification166/241.6, 175/325.5
International ClassificationE21B43/10, E21B17/10
Cooperative ClassificationE21B43/103, E21B17/1021
European ClassificationE21B43/10F, E21B17/10C2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 9, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: SHELL OIL COMPANY, TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:POINTING, MICHAEL EDWARD;REEL/FRAME:015350/0275
Effective date: 20020723
Jul 12, 2010REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Dec 5, 2010LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
Jan 25, 2011FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20101205